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16
Oct

After Math: The jobs market


It’s been a mixed week for employment prospects. On one hand, Apple fired a bunch of its staff for being skeevy with customer photos and HP announced that it would slash 3,000 to 4,000 jobs over the next three years. Conversely, a new blue dye could make the jobs of Ebola doctors safer, Netflix is reportedly paying Chris Rock $40 million to do his job twice and rapper Murs showed that he could do his job literally all day. Numbers, because how else are you going to calculate your personal wealth?

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16
Oct

 Ben Heck’s Halloween SuperHero Wearables, part 2


The Ben Heck Show - Episode 258 - Ben Heck's Halloween Superhero Wearables Part 2:  Assembly

It’s time to assemble our DIY superhero Halloween costume — get ready to put the micro-electronics together with the sewn outfit, including the laser-cut logo for Captain Tangent. To save time, Ben has wired together two micro controllers: the Parallax and Atmel ATMega boards. The ATMega will handle the i2c communications with the sensors, while the Parallax board will output the sound. After calibrating with some help from Karen, Ben edits together punch and kick sound effects.

We also get some insight into a different project: a wireless video game controller that will be repurposing parts taken from the EMFCamp 2014 badge. Can Captain Tangent stop the ultimate showdown between Ben and Felix over Linux? Head over to the element14 Community and let us know what your plans are for Halloween, from pumpkins to how you plan to work electronics into your costumes.

16
Oct

Oxo Good Grips Pour-Over Coffee Maker review – CNET


The Good Thanks to its clever design, manually brewing coffee with the Oxo Good Grips Pour-Over is extremely easy. The coffee maker consistently brews delicious cups of properly extracted java with plenty of complex flavor. Since it has few parts, all of which are dishwasher safe, cleaning the Oxo Pour-Over is a cinch.

The Bad The Oxo Good Grips Pour-Over is more expensive than basic single cup pour-over coffee funnels. The coffee brewer is made from plastic instead of premium materials such as glass, metal, or wood.

The Bottom Line Drip, pour over, indeed any coffee fan should jump on the Oxo Good Grips Pour-Over Coffee Maker’s combination of low cost and excellent brew quality, but large volume java drinkers are best served by large automatic appliances from Bonavita and Technivorm.

Java purists will tell you all that’s required to make outstanding coffee are fresh grounds, hot water, and a reliable filter. That’s it, everything else is extra complication. In fact many of this subset swear by the most manual of brewing methods — pour-over. Performing pour-over properly, however, takes some skill and practice. Here to help is the $16 Oxo Good Grips Pour-Over Coffee Maker, a deceptively simple yet very capable kitchen gadget.

Thanks to a clever design, the Oxo elegantly removes many stumbling blocks from the pour-over process. Yet despite the loss of a few variables, brewing coffee with the Good Grips Pour-Over remains a very hands-on experience, and one which consistently delivers excellent results.

Design and brewing

Brewing pour-over coffee is pretty self-explanatory process — you’ll just pour hot water over fresh coffee grounds, then wait for it to drip through a filter into a cup waiting below. As such, classic pour-over coffee brewers are pretty basic, typically consisting of just a single funnel-shaped filter holder. For this reason, they don’t tend to cost very much.

For instance, a plastic Melitta cone runs for just $3 while porcelain versions cost $20. Even luxury Chemex brewers, which are crafted from premium materials such as glass and wood, start at $39. That’s certainly a far cry from the multiple hundreds you’ll have to sell out for a quality automatic drip machine from Bonavita, Technivorm, and Ratio.

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The Oxo Good Grips Pour-Over looks simple but brews complex-tasting coffee.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

You’ll pay a premium for the Oxo Good Grips Pour-Over compared to its cheapest plastic competitors, but the unique design offsets the higher price tag. That’s because Oxo helps account for one of the trickiest challenges to brewing pour over correctly: decanting the right volume of water into your brewing filter.

Other crucial factors include hitting the correct brewing time, water temperature, not to mention the even saturation of your coffee grounds. If any of these variables skews out of control, you can kiss your chances of enjoying a tasty cup of joe goodbye.

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The Oxo’s ace in the hole is its handy water tank.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The Good Grips Pour-Over has one physical enhancement which effectively neutralizes these issues, transforming it into the best coffee gadget of its kind I’ve used personally. That ace in the hole is a small water reservoir which sits above its filter. Made of clear plastic and sporting graduated labels for easy measurement, the tank is durable enough to accept water just off the boil.

Once you fill it to the precise volume (6 to 10 ounces, 180 to 360 mL), water slowly drips through eight tiny holes on the bottom of the tank to wet the brewer’s bed of coffee grounds. Acting more like a shower head inside electric drip brewers, the rate of hot water flow is fixed by the physical size of these apertures along with the single opening at the foot of the filter funnel.

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Pour hot water right of the boil directly into the reservoir.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Likewise, since Oxo recommends always brewing with water straight from a boiling kettle you don’t have to fuss with thermometers or trying to hit an ideal brew temperature. Still, to ensure consistent quality I strongly suggest grinding beans the moment before brewing, weighing the coffee you intend to use, and processing them through a burr grinder to achieve a uniform grind size.

16
Oct

Nikon D3400 review – CNET


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The D3400’s body looks almost unchanged since the D3100, which was three generations ago.

Nikon

The Nikon D3300 has long been my go-to recommendation for a cheap dSLR, but after 2 years it’s usually time to slap a new coat of paint on consumer products. Nikon’s 2016 update to that camera, the D3400, has some small enhancements to bring it up to date, but nothing vital.

Along with the camera, Nikon has announced new kit lenses to accompany it. The 18-55mm versions of its new AF-P lenses — they incorporate stepper motors like Canon’s STM lenses for smoother and quieter focus in LCD-based Live View — were announced in January and have been available in Europe and Australia, but they’re finally making their US debut. Additionally, the company revealed another pair of 70-300mm AF-P lenses.

There are two versions of each of the two zooms, one with optical image stabilization (Nikon’s Vibration Reduction, or VR) and one without; the names differ solely by the “VR” designation and $50 (a more significant £60 in the UK and as-yet unknown price in Australia). This is going to get really confusing for shoppers, who will, I bet, inadvertently end up buying the wrong kit.

The AF-P DX Nikkor 18-55mm f3.5-5.6G VR is $250 (£230, AU$200) while the non-VR version is $200 (£170; I don’t see this version of the lens in Australia), and the AF-P DX Nikkor 70-300mm f4.5- 6.3G ED VR costs $400 (directly converted £307, AU$520), $350 (approximately £270, AU$455) for the nonstabilized one.

Nikon’s initially offering two kits of the D3400, one with the 18-55mm VR lens for $650. The other option is a dual-lens kit with the VR version of the 18-55mm lens but the non-VR version of the 70-300mm. While that’s a silly configuration — stabilization on the lens where you don’t need it and no stabilization on the one where you do — it allows Nikon to hit its just-under-$1,000 price of…$999.95. I don’t have overseas information yet, but those convert to approximately £500, AU$845 for the first kit and £770, AU$1,300 for the dual-lens kit.

What’s new

  • Sensor update. Though it’s the same resolution as the D3300, the new sensor follows Nikon’s trend of removing the low-pass filter (also known as the antialiasing filter) to deliver sharper photos. In fact, along with the update to the company’s Expeed 4 imaging engine, it looks an awful lot like the imaging system that’s in the D5300. It gives the camera a better noise profile, extended into what were the expanded regions on the D3300.
  • Wireless support. No Wi-Fi here; Nikon’s betting on Bluetooth to maintain a persistent low-power connection between the camera and your mobile device. That’s fine given how lame the company’s SnapBridge app is. Hopefully there’ll be an iPhone/iPad
    -compatible app by the time the camera ships, because there still isn’t at the moment.
  • Improved battery life. The D3400’s extends to 1,200 shots from 700, despite using the same battery.

My take

Like Canon, Nikon is now in a position where its older, better cameras (in Nikon’s case the D5300 from 2013) are cheaper than their cheap dSLRs — which, by the way, also have old technology, but a 2016 date on them. The D5300 has better autofocus and metering systems, an articulated LCD and Wi-Fi. The Canon EOS Rebel T6/EOS 1300D is cheaper, but the D3400 has better hardware, so its real Canon competition is the old EOS Rebel T5i/700D, which, like the D5300, has better specs for the same price. Still, unless Nikon broke something, it should carry on the D3300’s torch as a solid first dSLR.

Comparative specifications

18MP CMOS 18MP CMOS 24.2MP CMOS 24.2MP CMOS
22.3 x 14.9mm 22.3 x 14.9mm 23.2 x 15.4mm 23.2 x 15.4mm
1.6x 1.6x 1.5x 1.5x
Yes Yes Yes No
ISO 100 – ISO 12800/25600 (exp) ISO 100 – ISO 6400/12800 (exp) ISO 100 (exp)/200 – ISO 12800/25600 (exp) ISO 100 – ISO 25600
5fps6 raw/22 JPEG(without continuous AF and IS off) 3fps 6 raw/unlimited JPEG 5fps n/a 5fps100 JPEG
Optical95% coverage0.85x/0.53x Optical95% coverage0.80x/0.50x Optical95% coverage0.85x/0.57x Optical95% coverage0.85x/0.57x
Yes Yes Yes Yes
9-pt AFcenter cross-type 9-pt AFcenter cross-type 11-pt AFcenter cross-type 11-pt AFcenter cross-type
-0.5 – 18 EV 0 – 18 EV -1 to 19 EV -1 to 19 EV
1/4,000 to 60 secs; bulb; 1/200 sec x-sync 1/4,000 to 30 secs; bulb; 1/200 sec x-sync 1/4,000 to 30 secs; bulb; 1/200 sec x-sync 1/4,000 to 30 secs; bulb; 1/200 sec x-sync
n/a n/a n/a n/a
63 zones 63 zones 420-pixel 3D color matrix metering II 420-pixel 3D color matrix metering II
1 – 20 EV 1 – 20 EV 0 – 20 EV 0 – 20 EV
H.264 QuickTime MOV1080/30p, 25p, 24p; 720/60p H.264 QuickTime MOV1080/30p, 25p, 24p; 720/60p, 50p H.264 QuickTime MOV1080/60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p H.264 QuickTime MOV1080/60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p
Stereo, mic input Mono Mono; mic input Mono; mic input
Yes Yes Shutter speed only n/a
4GB 29m59s 20m 20m
No No Yes Yes
Optical Optical Optical Optical
3 in/7.7 cmArticulated touchscreen1.04m dots 3 in/7.5 cm Fixed920,000 dots 3 in/7.5 cmFixed921,000 dots 3 in/7.5 cmFixed921,000 dots
1 x SDXC 1 x SDXC 1 x SDXC 1 x SDXC
None Wi-Fi, NFC Optional Wi-Fi (with WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter) Bluetooth
Yes Yes Yes Yes
Yes No No No
440 shots (VF); 180 shots (LV) 500 shots (VF); 180 shots (LV) 700 shots 1,200 shots
5.2 x 3.9 x 3.1 in150 x 99 x 79 mm 5.1 x 4.0 x 3.1 in 129 x 101 x 78 mm 4.9 x 3.9 x 3.0 in124 x 98 x 76 mm 4.9 x 3.9 x 3.0 in124 x 98 x 76 mm
20.8 oz589.7 g 17.7 oz 502 g 16 oz454 g 16 oz (est.)454 g (est.)
$600£490AU$860(with 18-55mm STM lens) $500£385AU$550 (est.)(with 18-55mm IS II lens) $550£360AU$800(with 18-55mm VR lens)£380(with AF-P 18-55mm VR lens) $650(with AF-P 18-55mm VR lens)
April 2013 April 2016 February 2014 September 2016
16
Oct

How to transfer your iCloud Drive files to Google Drive


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How do I transfer iCloud drive files to Google Drive? Hint: You’ll need a computer!

If you’re making the switch from iPhone to Android, then you’ll likely want to take advantage of Google Drive and all the other Google Apps. That means you’ll need to transfer your iCloud Drive files to Google Drive.

This can get a bit tricky, since Apple really doesn’t want to see you go, but if you use the iCloud Drive and Google Drive desktop apps, it’s easy.

You can do it without the desktop apps, but it’s a bit of a pain.

How to transfer iCloud Drive files to Google Drive using the desktop apps

If you don’t have the Google Drive app for Mac or PC, you’ll need to download it before getting started. When you download it for Mac, a Finder shortcut will automatically be created under Favorites. When you download it for PC, you’ll be asked if you want to create a shortcut in the File Explorer. Do it.

If you’re on a Mac, you automatically have iCloud Drive. If you’re on a PC, you’ll need to download the iCloud Drive app before getting started.

Open two Finder windows if you’re on Mac or File Explorer windows if you’re on PC.
Click iCloud Drive in the left bar in one window.
Click Google Drive in the left bar in the other window.
Click the top file in the iCloud Drive folder.
Hold the shift key and click the bottom file in the iCloud Drive folder.
Click and drag all of your files over to the Google Drive folder.

That’s it. Google Drive does the rest and syncs it all up for you.

How to transfer iCloud files to Google Drive on the web

If you don’t want to download the iCloud Drive and Google Drive apps, you can (painstakingly) transfer files using the web apps. All you have to do is download each file from your iCloud Drive at icloud.com and re-upload everything to Google Drive.

The painstaking part comes in the fact that you have to download each individual file from your iCloud Drive. There is no way to batch-download or batch-transfer anything out of your iCloud Drive. I only recommend this method if you have just a few files to transfer.

16
Oct

The Prius Prime’s efficiency, and more in the week that was


What does Tesla have up its sleeve? The automaker is planning to unveil a mysterious new product on Monday, and speculation so far ranges from the finalized Model 3 to a major Autopilot update. Meanwhile, the Toyota Prius Prime received a spectacular 133 MPGe rating, making it the most efficient electrified vehicle you can buy in the US. A new European law could require all new homes to install electric vehicle chargers. And Vello launched the world’s first folding electric bike that can power itself.
Scientists around the world are working to crack fusion power, and MIT’s reactor recently set a new world record for plasma pressure. Bill Nye the Science Guy is getting into the energy game by backing a revolutionary solar company that could cut the cost of photovoltaics by 60 percent. Researchers in the UK transmitted data across a national electricity grid for the first time, marking a big step forward for smart grids. The Los Alamos National Laboratory found a way to scale up quantum dot solar window technology, and Egypt’s first solar-powered village rose from the desert in Bahariya Oasis.

A giant farm has risen in the Australian desert, and it’s able to grow 17,000 tons of vegetables a year with nothing more than seawater and sunshine. In other design and technology news, the Jellyfish Lodge is a self-sufficient floating house that purifies polluted waterways while growing healthy food. A new wind-powered gadget called the Water Seer can pull 11 gallons of drinking water from thin air every day. The world’s first “space nation” is preparing to launch a satellite that will help protect earth from asteroids. And CuteCircuit has developed a “Sound Shirt” that allows deaf people to feel classical music.

16
Oct

Miyamoto came up with ‘Donkey Kong’ ideas in the bathtub


In an interview posted on Nintendo’s Japanese website, Shigeru Miyamoto reminisced about the time he spent developing the classic arcade title Donkey Kong. According to Wired writer Chris Kohler, who translated the whole thing, Miyamoto dropped some previously unknown tidbits about the game in the interview. And yes, that includes the part about conjuring up ideas and getting them in order while in the company-owned housing’s communal bath.

He told the interviewer:

“There was a water boiler that was used to make the hanafuda (traditional Japanese playing cards that Nintendo manufactures), and the water from this boiler was also used for a bathtub… at night when nobody was around, you could hang out there for a long time. It totally saved me. It was really effective at letting me put my ideas in order.”

The gaming legend also revealed that Nintendo America wasn’t down with naming his famous gorilla Donkey Kong. Apparently, he wanted to convey the idea that the character was a “stupid monkey,” so he consulted a dictionary that listed “idiot” as one of “donkey’s” synonyms. His company’s American division told him it didn’t make sense, but he stood his ground.

He did listen to his American colleagues, however, when they told him the character’s voices sounded weird. Yes, the game was supposed to use human voices. “The lady stolen away by Donkey Kong was supposed to yell out, ‘Help, Help!’ And when Mario jumped over a barrel, she was supposed to yell, ‘Nice!’,” Miyamoto explained. But the Americans thought “help” sounded more like “kelp” in the voice sample, so they nixed the idea altogether. They replaced “help” with Donkey Kong’s growl and “nice” with Mario’s iconic jumping sound effect pi-ro-po-pon-pon. The rest, as they say, is history.

As for why Mario’s and Donkey Kong’s creator is talking about the old days, well, it’s likely because Nintendo is slated to release the Classic Mini NES in the West and the Famicom Mini in Japan in November. Both teensy retro consoles come pre-loaded with the Donkey Kong and Super Mario games, along with a bunch of other titles.

Source: Wired, Nintendo

16
Oct

dodocool Hi-Res in ear earphones (review)


Music plays an integral part of our lives for most of us. We listen to it in our cars on the way to work or school, at the gym, at home while cooking or when we are doing chores. It gets our blood pumping before a big game, offers background noise while we study, and provides endless entertainment within arms reach on our smartphones.

There are quite a few people who don’t know much about headphones which is why we review so many of them. While the headphones that come with your devices can play your music, they’re generally not very good. Low quality earbuds miss quite a bit of the musical spectrum and there’s a good chance you’re not hearing all of your music.

It doesn’t take hundreds of dollars for quality headphones. I’ve been using dodocool’s Hi-Res in ear earphones from Amazon and think they’re quite capable. Let’s check them out.

Build and Usage

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dodocool’s Hi-res earbuds are the wired variety with a 3.5mm audio plug with an in-line noise cancelling remote control. dodocool describes the drivers in the earbuds at Amazon with 40mm drivers, but that isn’t possible with an earbud of this size. Without taking them apart, I cannot identify how large they really are, but I would guess they’re the standard 8mm or 10mm variety based on the size of the casing.

The casings are made from plastic with a small ear flange that keeps them from falling out. The design is basic for earbuds, but that’s nothing to complain about considering these are all about sound.

When it comes to sound, it’s pretty hard to live up to the Hi-res description in the product listing. That description is usually reserved for high-end earbuds that costs 10 times as much as these dodocool earbuds which cost about $40. However when you load up Hi-Fi music from TIDAL, or high-quality music from Spotify, the earbuds actually perform quite good. They’re balanced while offering quite a bit of detail. Bass is punchy, mids are at the forefront and highs are clear without being piercing. These are tuned to please many instead of just dialing up the bass, and are not overly analytical which can become tiring to listen to over time.

They aren’t nearly as Hi-res as other earbuds I’ve used that qualify for that description, but they are quite good nonetheless. If I compare them to earbuds from Apple or Samsung that come for free with your smartphone, these are in a whole different category of sound reproduction.

When wearing earbuds of this variety, you need to make sure the fit is snug. Any air that can enter your ear will distort the sound. dodocool provides three sizes of silicone ear tips that are suitable for almost all ear canals. The tips are soft and comfortable and can be worn for several hours without fatigue.

dsc04763

When it comes to taking calls with these earbuds, they are excellent. Wired earbuds usually outperform their wireless counterparts with a sure connection through the 3.5mm audio jack. I took over a dozen calls for work with these and did not encounter any issues on either end of the call.

dsc04765

Summary

dodocool hooked the AndroidGuys’ readers up with an exclusive discount for these headphones. For a limited time, you can grab the dodocool Hi-Res in-ear earphones for $25.99 at Amazon using discount code 3OYEHHJP at checkout.

At $26 these earbuds are a more than fair price for those looking to upgrade their music experience. For those of you who use the earbuds that come with your smartphone, you’re missing out on a whole lot of detail in your music. It’s time you upgrade – the dodocool Hi-res in-ear earbuds are comfortable, are great for taking calls and offer a great all around music experience at a solid price.

Check out the dodocool Hi-res in-ear earphones at Amazon today.

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16
Oct

Here’s Apple’s workaround when your iPhone 7 home button fails


The iPhone 7’s non-moving home button may feel odd at first, but it has its perks… especially if it ever stops working. MacRumors forum goer iwayne has shown that the new iPhone will give you an on-screen home button (along with a warning that you may need repairs) if it thinks the physical key is broken. While that’s not much consolation if your phone needs to be fixed, it does mean that you can keep using your device in a relatively normal way while you’re waiting for your Genius Bar appointment.

The technology may be short-lived when there are reports of Apple possibly ditching physical home buttons entirely with the next iPhone. However, it’s not hard to see why Apple would push for a motionless button in the short term. It’s not just the customizable haptic feedback — the new design is theoretically less likely to break (since it doesn’t click down) and reduces the pressure to get an immediate fix. That helps Apple’s bottom line, of course, but it may also make you a happier owner in the long term.

The iPhone 7's home button failure warning

Image credit: iwayne, MacRumors Forums

Via: MacRumors

Source: MacRumors Forums

16
Oct

Samsung gives the Galaxy S7 a taste of the Note 7’s software


Like it or not, the Galaxy Note 7 is gone for good. However, you’re getting a small treat if you switched from the Note 7 to another Samsung phone. Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge owners report that they’re receiving an update which brings many of the Note’s always-on display features to the slightly older devices, such as its customization. It’s not a wholesale port of the discontinued phone’s software (you’d need pen support for that), and some users are reporting broken features in the initial release. Notifications from Samsung’s own email app may not work, for instance.

Still, the timing is convenient and bodes well whether or not you came to the S7 from its larger, defunct counterpart. You won’t have to wait ages (or buy a new phone) to see some of what you were missing. Not that Samsung has much choice but to court S7 owners these days. While there’s no guarantee that the company will migrate everything it can from the Note 7’s software, it has more incentive to make the S7 series as compelling as possible — it’s likely the company’s only high-end option for the next several months.

Source: XDA-Developers, AnandTech Forums

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